Friday, March 30, 2007

Big Bend

We left home Monday. We spent the first night in Vicksburg, MS and Jacksonville, Texas the next night. Wednesday, we made it to Fredricksburg, Texas after smoking the tires on I35 in Austin, see brake saga below. My oldest mate from Navy days drove up to see us. Betty and Terry joined us for a fine dinner at a German restaurant.

Thursday, March 29th
This trip is off to a not so great start. I tried my best to blame it on Dorothy, but it was my fault. I changed one procedure for getting underway Wednesday and it resulted in tripping the brake-away brakes and in the process toasting the campers brakes. So rather than spending two days in Fredericksburg, Texas, we will be here for an extra four days until parts can be shipped and repairs made. There are a lot worse places to be stranded, as there are plenty of things we wanted to do here, they were just not on our to-do list for this trip.

However, the rain finally arrived here after lunch today. The skies turned dark last night. The forecast is for rain off and on for the next 10 days. No rain is forecast for Big Bend, where we were supposed to be Saturday. And so it goes.

Friday, March 30, 2007
We amused ourselves with the Adm. Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War this morning. Well the inside of the museum, as it was sheeting rain. We bought smoked sausage, red cabbage and sauerkraut at a local place. Along with some of the best whole wheat bread we have tasted in some time. German cooking is prevalent here.

Rain continued all day so we sat inside the camper and read.

Saturday, March 31, 2007
We went to the LBJ Ranch. I understand why Johnson loved the Hill Country so much. The State of Texas owns part of the property and the National Parks owns the remainder. First we watched a 25 minute movie with President and Mrs. Johnson talking about their home. Next we were on a tour bus with NPS volunteer driver talking about the points of interest. We stopped at LBJ’s birthplace and then walked over to the cemetery where he is buried along with his brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents. While there, one of the women said “Mrs. Johnson isn’t buried here”. I told her she wasn’t dead yet! She is 94 years old and she and the family come to the ranch from Austin almost every weekend. We were able to drive to the house, but the Secret Service does not allow the driver to open the doors. Anyhow, it’s a great house. They bought it from President’s Johnson’s aunt and immediately started adding on.

We returned to Fredericksburg, back to the Museum of the Pacific War. There are a lot of dioramas throughout and reading about the places where the war was fought certainly made me think of my Daddy. To see the names and pictures of the places where he was made it very real. Next we went to the George H. W. Bush Gallery. There is a plaque for each of the eight Presidents that served their country during WWII. Daddy Bush is the last one. Then we went to the Pacific War Zone. This area had a recreated war zone complete with sounds. There were bunkers where these Japanese fought, a cemetery with GI dog tags and a mobile hospital. All one has to do is go back in time and know that President Truman did the right thing dropping the two bombs.

Sunday, April 1, 2007
We drove to Enchanted Rock, which we had visited 23 years earlier. Today it is a state park and the entrance fee was $12! We could see the rock and it’s pretty, but it’s certainly not worth the price. We spent the rest of the morning driving the northern Hill Country up to Llano and back by way of Marble Falls. Just before Johnson City, we took a ranch road that goes north of the Pedernales River.

Tomorrow we will be at shop at 8am to get the camper brakes repaired. If we can get out by noon, we may try to make it to Big Bend, seven long hours away.

This may be the last post for a week or so.

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